On the eve of recording his next proper studio album, Lloyd Cole this week released a “souvenir” CD recorded last month with his twangy Small Ensemble that features stripped-down, acoustic takes on Commotions favorites and solo tunes — plus two new songs likely earmarked for the next project.

Available at LloydCole.com, the new 12-track disc — Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble Slaughterhouse Studios 01/22/2010 — was recorded in 12.5 hours prior to Cole’s very brief tour of the U.S. midwest last month with his “baby bluegrass band,” which features Cole and Matt Cullen on both guitar and banjo, and Mark Schwaber on guitar and mandolin.

On his site, Cole cautions that the just-completed disc — a limited edition run of 400, each signed by the singer — is “not a demo or outtake CD, nor is it my new album.” So what it is? Cole himself is a somewhat undecided, writing:

“Is this an album or not? I’m not sure, it was recorded so that we would have something by the small ensemble to sell at our January 2010 concerts; a souvenir, but it turned out better than we expected, and folk who weren’t at the shows expressed interest in getting their hands on it. So, here it is.”

In the end, Cole writes that disc will be the first in a series of he’s calling “White Labels,” projects that aren’t quite full-fledged albums. This CD includes re-recordings of songs ranging from “Perfect Skin,” Cole’s 1984 debut single with the Commotions, to “Undressed,” from his 1990 self-titled debut, plus more recent fare, such as “My Alibi,” off 2003’s Music in a Foreign Language. (See full tracklist below.)

Plus, there are two new songs — “Broken Record” and “If I Were a Song” — that could be included on Cole’s next album, tentatively titled Broken Record, which he’s due to begin recording Monday in New York City, according to his Facebook fan page. To fund the $60,000 budget for the record, Cole already is pre-selling the disc, which will be his first proper studio album since 2006’s Antidepressant. He writes:

“What kind of album will it be? Loud and quiet is all I know, right now — lots of acoustic stringed instruments … The songs are starting to come together nicely now and I’m very encouraged by them. I have waited long enough! Hopefully it will be an old guy’s version of my first solo record, which I still think is not bad.”

Fans can order Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble Slaughterhouse Studios 01/22/2010 here for $12, and pre-order the new album here in two editions: a $15 single disc, or a $45 double-disc set that features a CD of outtakes, plus a special booklet written by Cole.

See full tracklist for Lloyd Cole’s ‘Small Ensemble’ disc after the jump…

Tracklist: Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble Slaughterhouse Studios 01/22/2010

1. “My Alibi”
2. “If I Were a Song”
3. “Why I Love Country Music”
4. “Margo’s Waltz”
5. “Perfect Skin”
6. “Broken Record”
7. “Four Flights Up”
8. “My Other Life”
9. “Trigger Happy”
10. “Undressed”
11. “No More Love Songs”
12. “Are You Ready to be Heartbroken?”

Link to original article online

Publication date: 27/02/2010